US House passes Keystone XL bill despite White House's veto threat

The US House approved Rep. Lee Terry’s (R-Neb.) bill to bypass the White House and congressionally authorize construction of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline’s northern segment by 241 to 175 votes on May 22. But the bill, HR 3, would be vetoed if it ever reached the president’s desk, the White House said in a May 21 Statement of Administration Policy.

It said the bill conflicts with the executive branch’s approval authority, is unnecessary because the US Department of State is already reviewing the proposed project’s cross-border permit application, and prevents full consideration of complex security, safety, environmental, and other issues.

Terry and other HR 3 supporters have said that Congress’s approval of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System’s construction in 1974 established a precedent for this bill. TransCanada Corp., the project’s sponsor, has had its application under federal review for 1,700 days, several of HR 3’s backers said on May 22.

“If the president were just to sign off on the Keystone XL pipeline today, he would create thousands of jobs immediately,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) said. “Instead, he has delayed it for 5 years. That’s why the House is voting on this bill today.”

Several Democrats said the debate and vote were a waste of time. “The very decision to sign this bill would be with the very president who’s already considering the project’s application,” Rep. Jared Polis (Colo.) maintained.

Other Democrats who supported previous Keystone XL bills in the House said they opposed this one because it would excuse TransCanada from many permit requirements.

‘Deeply disturbing’

“The fact that we would deem a foreign company permitted is deeply disturbing,” said Nick J. Rahall (W.Va.). “It waives US permits for a major undertaking while US companies like Exxon and Valero still have to obtain permits for their operations in Canada.”

Henry A. Waxman (Calif.), the Energy and Commerce Committee’s ranking minority member, reiterated the main reason for opposing the project. “It would lock Americans into decades of dependence on dirty Canadian crude at a time when we’ve finally begun to reverse our carbon and greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

Republicans said HR 3 was absolutely necessary. “This bill leads where the president has wavered, and finally approves the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Daniel A. Webster (Fla.). The measure’s prospects in the Senate are uncertain, where Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) is unlikely to take it up.

Oil and gas industry associations applauded the measure’s passage. “The Keystone XL pipeline project continues to receive broad support from the public, in March in the Senate and now again in the House of Representatives,” said Andrew J. Black, president of the Association of Oil Pipelines.

American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard said, “The ongoing Keystone XL delay has sent a signal to all Americans that jobs and energy security are not a priority to some in government. However, we have bipartisan leadership on Capitol Hill; we just need leadership from the president to help our fellow citizens get back to work.”

Environmental organizations said the debate revealed the project’s many flaws and the vote basically meant nothing. “At the end of the day, the buck still stops with President Obama,” declared Franz Matzner, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s associate director of government affairs.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

EPA approves Magellan’s Corpus Christi splitter project

12/12/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final greenhouse gas prevention of significant deterioration construction permit to Magellan Pr...

Keyera to take majority interest in Alberta gas plant

12/12/2014 Keyera Corp., Calgary, will pay $65 million (Can.) to buy a 70.79% ownership interest in the Ricinus deep-cut gas plant in west-central Alberta.

PBF Energy, PBF Logistics make management changes

12/12/2014 Matthew Lucey, currently executive vice-president of PBF Energy Inc., will succeed Michael Gayda as the company’s president. Todd O’Malley, current...

TAEP: TPI still peaking, but ‘contraction unavoidable’ as oil prices fall

12/12/2014 The Texas Petro Index (TPI), a composite index based on a comprehensive group of upstream economic indicators released by the Texas Alliance of Ene...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil price extends slump

12/12/2014 Crude oil prices extended their slump on the New York market with a Dec. 11 settlement of less than $60/bbl for January, and prices continued downw...

US needs more data before ending crude export ban, House panel told

12/11/2014 Much more environmental impact information is needed before the US can reasonably remove crude oil export limits, a witness told a House Energy and...

BOEM raises offshore oil spill liability limit to $134 million

12/11/2014 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management increased the liability limit for oil-spill related damages from offshore operations to $134 million from ...

Rosneft, Essar sign terms of oil supply agreement

12/11/2014 OAO Rosneft and Essar Energy PLC have signed key terms of an oil supply agreement in New Delhi. Rosneft said shipments to India may begin in 2015.

Barton introduces bill to remove US crude export limits

12/11/2014

US Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) introduced legislation that would remove US crude oil export limits that have been in place for nearly 40 years.

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected